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Armor Correctional Health Services implements positive trend in Broward County Jail with detox program

ARMOR CORRECTIONAL PRISONER Armor Correctional Health Services implements positive trend in Broward County Jail with detox program

Armor Correctional Health Services

Armor Correctional Health Services implements positive trend in Broward County Jail with detox program

By Armor Correctional Health Services

 

    MIAMI, FL — Broward County, a South Florida community considered ground zero for illegal prescription drug distribution, experienced a dramatic increase in individuals requiring detox upon incarceration in their jail system.

    In 2010, pain clinics in Broward outnumbered well-known franchises within the county including 71 McDonald’s, 21 Wal-Marts and 47 Starbucks. Detoxing inmates are at greater risk for erratic and suicidal behavior and in response Armor Correctional Health Services, a Miami-based company that provides comprehensive medical, dental and mental health services exclusively for patients in jails and prisons and the current health-care provider for the Broward and Palm Beach County jails, opened a “Detox Unit” in the Broward Sheriff’s Office Main Jail on June 22, 2010.

Armor and Broward Sheriff’s Office personnel recognized a direct connection to increased suicidal ideation and apparent post-detox depressive episodes, which was one of the primary reasons for implementing the newly formed unit. Working together, Armor and the Broward Sheriff’s Office developed a plan to identify and house these detoxing patients in an appropriate housing area. Helping detoxing inmates directly resulted in a downward trend in medical incidents within the jail facility. The program is comprised  of four licensed practical nurses (LPNs), one psychiatrist, one psychologist, one licensed counselor social worker and one mental health nurse. Currently it serves an average of 460 inmates monthly. Since its inception, the program has treated approximately 11,000 patients and the number of emergency calls related to inmates detoxing dropped a staggering 90 percent!

     Karen P. Davies, Regional Vice President at Armor explains, the protocol. “First, the emergency medical technicians identify and complete a screening sheet and follow up to initiate the detox flow sheet. Patients are monitored closely by an LPN 24/7, with their medications and vital signs checked twice daily. Furthermore, the Mental Health Provider completes an Initial Psychiatric Evaluation within 72 hours of admission. Davies goes on to explain, “Inmates in the DOU are assessed for suicide potential prior to being released into the general inmate population. Once released to the general population within the jail system, the patient is followed up by both medical and mental health services to ensure they are clinically stable to function in their new housing unit.”

     Armor is also proud to provide services via a Discharge Planner who coordinates assistance with outside programs for terminally ill patients.

     Statistics clearly show that programs such as this one and increased monitoring systems greatly benefit the citizens of the State of Florida. According to 2010 figures from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, one in every seven deaths in Florida is related to prescription drug overdose. Seventy-two percent of oxycodone deaths were ruled accidental, as were 69 percent of Xanax deaths. The top 25 dispensing practitioners of oxycodone in the U.S. are in Florida. From January to June of 2008, 3.4 million oxycodone pills were dispensed in Broward County alone. While the laws in Florida have changed over the past few years to better monitor pill mills and the controlled substances they dispense, illegal prescription drug use continues to plague the community. Armor is proud to have met the challenge head on to better serve the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the inmates in their custody.

 

About Armor

     Armor Correctional Health Services is a 100 percent minority-owned and physician–owned company. Armor provides high quality comprehensive medical, mental health, dental and pharmaceutical services for jails and prisons nationwide.  Additional information can be found at www.armorcorrectional.com.

 

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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